Coron, Palawan – Agrarian Reform Secretary Brother John Castriciones distributed here a total of 9.7 hectares of agricultural lands to eight (8) agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Barangay Guadalupe through a personalized Serbisyong DAR-to-Door program of the Department of Agrarian Reform ((DAR).
Serbisyong DAR-to-Door is a program of the department where Brother John personally delivers the certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) right at the farm or at the doorsteps of the recipients.
Brother John said they do this service to bring the government to farmers’ household so that they would feel that this administration is on their side.
“We visit various far-flung communities to give hope to the farmers. To show them that if we can personally deliver the land titles they’ve been dreaming of for many years, we can do more to make their lands become more productive,” Brother John said.
The Secretary is accompanied by other DAR top officials from central, regional, and provincial offices to show their full support to this program.
Support Services Office Undersecretary Emily Padilla advised the new landowners that they should join farmers’ organizations or cooperatives to quickly receive various support services from the government.
“The government’s support are in the form of access to credit facilities, farm inputs and machineries, training and seminar, among others, and you would quickly benefit from them when you join organizations,” Padilla said.
Palawan Congressman Franz Alvarez said that his office is open for ARB’s concerns whenever they need the local government’s help.
“All I ask of you is to maximize the use of these lands, and do not be tempted to sell them,” he added.
The farmer-recipients of the program include Liverinda Zabalo,Luis Zabalo, Leonardo Zabalo, Bienvenido Zabalo, Damian Apolinario,Edwin Alarcon, Romualdo Bautista and Engracita Wab.
The emotional Engracita Wab thanked the DAR for the blessings that she received because she had been tilling the land for many years uncertain if the property would become hers.
“From now on I will never be scared that this land would be taken away from me. Thank you very much for what you have done to us,” Wab said.
DAR provides livelihood support to Sultan Kudarat farmers
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) extended its livelihood assistance to farmers in Sultan Kudarat, to help mitigate the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on farming households.
Five (5) agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from the municipality of President Quirino in Sultan Kudarat province each received one carabao from the DAR under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan in Agrarian Reform Areas (PAMANA-ARA) program of the agency.
The program aims to provide peace-promoting infrastructure and livelihood projects to farmers in remote, conflict-affected agrarian reform areas across the country and enhance the productivity of farmers, as well as income.
According to Municipal Agrarian Reform Provincial Officer Abdul C. Saligan, Jr., the beneficiaries all belong to Pedtubo Farmers’ Association from Pres. Quirino and are 2nd liner-recipients of the cattle dispersal project provided to 15 beneficiaries last 2017.
Saligan explained that the carabaos provided to the 2021 recipients are the offsprings of the carabaos previously provided to the PAMANA ARA recipients of 2017.
He added that aside from the carabaos, the beneficiaries were also oriented on cattle handling and insurance registration for their carabaos if in case the carabaos were harmed due to various accidental reasons while under their care.
Arnulfo P. Remorin, one of the recipients, thanked the DAR for the blessings their association received.
“This event marks as a new and hopeful beginning for our association this year 2021 and will surely bring good blessing for us, our family, and our community,” said Remorin.
The PAMANA program is the national government’s convergence program that extends development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, ensuring that they are not left behind.
9,000 has. government-owned lands still up for distribution to Busuanga ARBs
“There are still around 9,000 hectares of government-owned lands (GOLs) for distribution to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) of Busuanga and we are pooling all our resources so that we could give all these properties to the landless farmers this year,” said Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Brother John Castriciones during the distribution activity of around 80 hectares of agricultural lands to 102 ARBs held in Busuanga gymnasium on January 22, 2021.
Brother John added that this is just the first tranche of distributing the GOLs in the municipality.
The Secretary explained that with President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing into law of Executive Order (EO) No. 75, Series of 2019, on February 1, 2019, the DAR has quickly facilitated the process of subjecting this land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
“The DAR being named as the lead agency that provides central direction and coordination for the implementation of the said executive order would expedite the process of acquiring the lands for distribution,” Brother John said.
He said that despite the pandemic, they keep on working and even visiting various sites in the countryside to see that the implementation of CARP is on the right track.
Meanwhile, Support Services Office Undersecretary Emily Padilla said that the DAR is doubling its effort so that they could finish all the backlogs of the past administration in distributing the lands before the president’s term ends.
“President Duterte ordered us to award all the undistributed lands before his administration ends. These landless farmers are fighting for their rights to the lands for many years and the President understands that is why he has given us this task,” Padilla said.
Busuanga Mayor Elizabeth Cervantes, on her part, expressed her gratitude to the President for signing EO No. 75.
“Today is a historic day for our farmers. They are the first beneficiaries of the executive order in our town,” she said.
Benigno Portes Jr. from Brangay San Rafael, who is one of the farmer-beneficiaries who received the GOL, thanked the government for the land and believed that because of this, their lives would improve.